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My ex girlfriend is pregnant, what do i do?

Kindness first's picture

Hello,

I am a father of two, with a formal divorce completed a few years ago.

I dated a girl for a couple of years and have been through a lot together, which hasnt gotten us any closer during our relationship. She has a son and I was a part of his life during the last year of it. We had 2 miscarriages following unplanned pregnancies, and dealt with the grief the best we could. It definately left scars on the both of us.

Now, we broke up and saw each other a couple of times when we were "lonely" and it was still clear that we werent chasing each other for a relationship. But now, i am finding out more information about what has been going on for the past 7 weeks.

She is pregnant and this time, not sure what she is going to do about it.

We have talked many times, both in person and on the phone about it. She has had a difficult time managing her emotions and has forced me to call the police in times that she would be banging on the windows and doors after arguments where she was not able to help herself but to lash out. She has made it clear that an abortion she had to have literally alost sent her to the grave. 

She claims that she is 50/50 with her decision about keeping the child or not.

I have gotten through to her multiple times about how i feel like it was an accident, we are not prepared in any regard to having a child (living arrangements, financially, mentally, etc.) and shouldnt be bringing a life into this world with the way we can't get along. I am scared of not being able to providde my 8 and 6 year old girls a life they deserve with the way i am handling it currenty, let alone a life with another schedule and what feels like parallel life to be added to it all.

I am stressed about the unknowns of what responsibility i have to this decision. Ultimately, she can just say something like, Ill email you in 9 months and we can see what a lawyer requires of you. Or lets become friends and figure it out? She continuously believes that this is an option that we need to exhaust for the child, as i understand it is worth throught and time to make sure we do not regret any decision that we make, BUT I am not ready, and in other circumstances I could feel more prepared to handle this type of situation with a more stable foundation under my feet.

 

I am asking all of you, how do i navigate discussing this with her, after being honest and relaying the information about me not being able to see this as a positive decision of keeping the baby, and more of a "lets jsut wing it" feeling from her.

I feel broke all the time paying my kid's mother child support and their section 7 expenses day to day, and can't fathom adding another child into the mix while not being in any level of a healthy relationship with the mother.

I understand that i would need to support the child financially, I am just not sure how it all would balance out

Comments

tog redux's picture

I think that you have to let her know very clearly whether you do or don't intend to continue any kind of relationship with her if she keeps the baby (with her - not the child, of course you should have a relationship with the child).  She may be hoping this is a way to hang on to you.  I think it's perfectly fine also for you to give your opinion that you'd prefer an abortion but it's 100% her decision since it's her body. 

Also, please insist on a paternity test.  

And, no offense, but be more careful with birth control in the future. 

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

Make sure she knows that if she kept the baby does not mean you two will be getting back together, definitely do not want any miscommunication on that. 

Definitely get a paternity test if she does go through with keeping the baby!

Aniki-Moderator's picture

Every time you have intercourse, you take the chance of it ending in pregnancy. Regardless of which type of birth control used. Every single time. 

I agree with tog. Insist on a paternity test. If it is your child, be prepared to pay CS. 

And if it IS yours, please make the decision to be a father or not and stick with it. Popping in and out of a child's life when you find it convenient is a terrible thing to do. 

lieutenant_dad's picture

Not a lot you can do now. Tell your ex how involved you want to be, get a paternity test, then work with an attorney to get the rights you want.

On a personal note for you, though: do better at managing your own birth control. Your ex already had two unplanned pregnancies with you prior to this one. You already have two kids you can barely support. You might have a third born to a mother who can't support them. Condoms are your best friend going forward.

IDontCare3117's picture

This ^.  The first "unplanned" pregnancy should have been a huge hint to up the birth control standards.  By the time you get to three "unplanned" pregnancies, they're no longer unplanned.  They're expected. 

Aniki-Moderator's picture

Condoms fail. Abstinence works 100%. So does "taking matters into your own hands"...

advice.only2's picture

Perhaps this is an opportunity to reflect and start working towards a better future for yourself.  Rather than sit back and be passive with your ex, be proactive.  Get a paternity test put in place, consult with a lawyer, have a game plan mapped out for this child should it come to fruition.  Rather than be a victim of your own making stand up and take action. For future probably best to ensure you are using your own form of birth control and insist that your partner also use a form of birth control before you begin getting intimate.  As I always told my son, never leave it to the woman to be protected, you protect her and yourself as well, it's selfish and antiquated to believe that birth control is all on the woman.

Survivingstephell's picture

Are you sure it's yours? If you aren't married, dna test will need to be done.   I'd also recommend www.shrink4men, it's a site for dealing with high conflict people. She sounds like a handful and you will need firm boundaries with her and what you will and won't do if it's yours.   You most certainly do not want to be her puppet for the next 18 years.  You don't want her interfering with any future relationship or your other kids.  

Tried out's picture

you can only see this through your own eyes at the moment. I get you're concerned about how you will possibly pull this off financially. But the mother of this baby can't be expected to put your concerns above her own and her feelings for this baby to be.

You definitely need to follow all the advice you've already been given - paternity test, tell her exactly how much or at all intend to be part of this baby's life. But for now you need to stop urging her to get an abortion. I know it would make your life simpler if she did but that is not her problem. You can walk away but this decision is something that she'll have to live with for the rest of her life. I've known women who have had abortions and have had a hard time afterward emotionally. 

justmakingthebest's picture

Here is what I would tell my son:

  1. Make sure that she knows formally and in writing that you will be seeking full parental rights and equal custody of this child after paternity test is preformed.
  2. Make sure she also knows formally and in writing that this child will be a cause for your relationship to be anything more than co-parents.
  3. Get a lawyer to have a court order for paternity testing right after birth. 
  4. File for custody right after birth.
  5. Document and get police reports for every single time she is showing her crazy. 

Kindness first's picture

This is interesting, because i had a friend of mine mention that I could deliver the message to her that i wanted to go the complete opposite direction and ask for full custody and see what happens.

What is the idea behind your statement 1 around parental rights?

Winterglow's picture

Ummm ... so you'd threaten to take her child away from her just to "see what happens"? Not a good idea. Basically, any hope of ever co-parenting peacefully and successfully would fly out of the windown with that. She'd view it (as would many others) as a declaration of war. Not only that but, what would you do if she said "OK, fine by me"? Could you cope with an extra child? If not, don't play with fire unless you're prepared to get burned. 

It is extremely rare for either parent to actually get full custody (I am assuming that for you "full custody" means having the child 100% at your home) and 50-50 is probably the best you can hope for.

Signing away your parental rights is not an easy thing to do (should you consider doing that), includes tons of conditions, and you might even still end off having to pay child support.